About Local Government
Local government is a vital cog in the wheel of democracy. It is the major provider of many services to the people of New Zealand and has to understand the needs of the communities that it serves. It exists to provide its communities with essential services, such as roading, sewerage and refuse collection, and also
- Sustainable economic development and new jobs
- A healthy and safe environment
- Social cohesiveness
- A vibrant and developing culture and identity
- A stable political and economic climate
Local Government has a profound role to play in securing these outcomes for all communities. Local Government New Zealand is the national voice of local government. It represents the diversity and local democracy of the metropolitan areas, the districts, the rural communities, and the regions of New Zealand.
Local Government is one of the two branches of government in New Zealand and while governed strictly by statutes, is accountable to communities.
Local authorities comprise:
- 11 regional councils
- 67 territorial authorities (consisting of 15 city councils and 59 district councils).
Council's role has two essential elements. On one hand, it is required to provide the people of the South Waikato with responsible leadership. This means that it often has to make decisions that do not suit everybody especially when those decisions impact on people financially. On the other hand, it is there to represent the interests of all people. We need to consider and be respectful of the views, preferences and desires of the local community. It is our job to balance the community's wishes and dreams with our estimation of what can be afforded.
Council has a difficult balancing act for every service that it provides for the community, and for every service that it would like to provide, it has to make sensible decisions about how to obtain the resources that will be needed.
It is important that Council outlines its vision, well-beings and the outcomes to be achieved. These are listed below:
Council's vision is to have 'Healthy people thriving in a safe, vibrant and sustainable community'.
There are three key outcomes Council aims to achieve to make the vision a reality. They are:
- Growth - Activities and strategies that facilitate sustainable economic growth and lift community pride.
- Resilience - A resilient district with good infrastructure and services, a sound financial position, rates affordability and a healthy environment that has the ability to anticipate, resist, respond to and recover from significant change or events.
- Relationships - Strong relationships with iwi and Māori, Pacific Peoples, community and business groups that can achieve growth and a resilient community.